• The Tenuous Purpose

    This Blog is built - not, as some might expect, on a flimsy whim but on a strong and single minded principle.

    That principle concerns Biscuits and their position in the world.

    We are really very keen on biscuits.
    As are many of you out there.
    We think.

    We wish to create an archive of Arrowroot, a backlog of Bourbons and a catalogue of Chocolate Fingers. Anybody can contribute an entry - or dispute somebody else's - provided they are not dull.
    Even Americans who perhaps don't really have the heritage of biscuitry that we are fortunate to have here.

    Or maybe they do and we are unaware of the full glory of the cookie.

    We realise that this whole subject is admirably and concisely dealt with by that excellent and unbeatable website A Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down. Our feeble efforts will be as the kicking of a gadfly in the face of their wisdom and experience but we hope that we may have a small contribution to make.

  • Biscuit Encounters on Twitter

  • The Synod of Biscuitry

    James Alexander-Sinclair of Blackpitts
    Gardener, Blogger, Journalist, Lecturer etc, etc. Much of his life is spent loafing around other people’s gardens issuing directives and generally cluttering up the place. However, like the great Mr Kipling, he does (occasionally) make exceptionally good gardens. (Although even Mr Kipling messed up a bit with the Carrot and Walnut Mini Classics.)

    Mark Diacono of Otter Farm
    He does sterling work growing many inappropriate plants in Devon. He dedicates a great deal of time and effort nurturing a plethora of plants that are (mostly) totally unsuited to our climate. His is a life of such extreme eccentric dedication that to start a Blog about Biscuits seems perfectly normal. He treads gently in the footsteps of people like the great William Buckland,a professor of Geology who claimed that he could tell location by tasting the local topsoil.

Ice,Iced Baby

Do you remember Iced Gems? Weren’t they great?

If you answered yes to both those questions, then I suspect that you are suffering from some kind of False Memory Syndrome, because they were hateful little things.

Not really iced and certainly not gems, at least not in the sense of being “little wonders”. They were, I guess, gem-like in as much as they were as hard and as tasty to eat as precious stones.

Consisting of a small round plain biscuit along the lines of a Rich Tea, but about the size of a penny, topped with a swirl of what I believed as a child to be icing.

As an adult I now know that the substance that closest resembles the topping is in fact tile grout.

As a child you would of course eat anything if you believed it was biscuits, or sweets, of some kind despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. But even these things were a trail.

My childhood contemporaries and I, inventive in the face of adversity, used to eat the most horrible bit (the icing) first, working our way through the packet.

This left you with a bag of tiny round biscuits, as I say a bit like little Rich Teas. But whereas the Rich Tea is a subtle biscuit, they had none of that and because they were so small were baked hard so that they were like something you’d feed to livestock.

Nevertheless, we munched our way through them, dreaming of Breakaways, Clubs and Penguins, and the day when we would be old enough to say “These are bloody horrible and I‘m not eating them”, without the risk of invoking a biscuit and sweet embargo from the grown-ups for being “ungrateful“.

The Garden Monkey

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24 Responses

  1. Such blasphemy at this early hour?
    Is it the rapture?

    Iced Gems are lovely little bundles of joy, more akin to sweets than biscuits. The secret is to think of them as biscuits but to eat them like sweets. They need to be sucked.
    Sucking them releases the sweetness locked in both the iced topping and the biscuit base.
    Of course for the full effect you will also need to wash them down with some fizzy pop and then run round and round and round for several hours before throwing up a rainbow.

  2. The thing about Iced Gems is they melt into a miniature mouthful of marvellous memories. All those childhood escapes from parents, armed with a little picnic packed with crisps, iced gems and the kind of orange squash that would guarantee hyperactivity for a few hours. Mmmmmmmmmmm..

  3. They remind me of trips home on the school bus 🙂

  4. I have a packet in the storecupboard ,for decorating dodgy cakes…

  5. I am a bit staggered that you all like Iced Gems.
    I am with the GM in thinking that you all have massive false memory syndrome.
    Iced Gems are capable of completely lacerating the roof of the mouth.
    And they taste like soapy sugar.
    The biscuit content is sub-standard and, frankly, a bit stale.
    In the hands of the wrong people Iced Gems are capable of becoming dangerous weapons.

  6. Why would anyone like titchy biscuits?! ridiculous

  7. You are mad. They were ‘orrible.

    You’ll be telling me next that “It’s a Knockout” was entertaining, that Brotherhood of Man started the punk movement, and that Cresta was not “Frothy man!”

  8. Maybe it’s just the E numbers talking, but I still think Iced Gems are a classic of misunderstoodness. I would march straight to Tescos to purchase a pack right now to demonstrate my defiance of the anti Iced Gem league, but I’m a lazy, lazy man. Instead, I shall think evil thoughts at the interweb as I ceremoniously set light to a Rich Tea biscuit.

    Might I also add that with the exception of a certain Royal failure, It’s a Knockout was a work of inspired genius until they let Cheggers get near it.

    That is all.

    • Eddie Waring.
      Gawd Rest HIs Soul (he is dead, isn’t he?)
      “Ooop and oonder” *
      Was his catchphrase.
      As was manic laughter at unfunny events.

      *I think it was something to do with rugger.

  9. It’s a Knockout was classic TV even better than Gladiators!
    Plus didn’t it spawn that fantastic single by Peter André – ‘Jeux Sans Frontières’?

  10. I am slightly worried now that white dogshit reminds VP of trips on school buses (think I may have lost the thread of that conversation somewhere).

    I am also worried that I have just typed ‘Is Eddie Waring dead?” into Google.

    But yes he is… and has been for 23 years it appears.

    Oh, and iced gems were possibly the most disappointing item ever to appear on a birthday tea table.

  11. I loved iced gems when I was at school and remember them fondly along with Bryan Ferry and Gary Glitter (I had bookmarks of both of them in my hymn book).
    But those were more innocent times ….

  12. Quelques bonnes info mais toujours un bon post merci !

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